This article was written by our Master Rosarian, Lynn.
I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the shorter my memory gets! I used to go through my garden and could name every rose, the type and color. Well, I can still remember the color and most of the types, but the names sure want to elude me. The way I keep track without having to buy an incredible number of name stakes is by keeping a spreadsheet.
It really isn’t too difficult, and I also color code each year’s new entries so I can see all the ones for that year. I put in the year I planted them, too. I wish I had started that little thing when I first developed the spreadsheet, but I do it now. That way, when I have visitors and they ask me the name of the rose, I know I can find the answer even if it doesn’t come to my mind.
The way I did this was to have lines for each of the rose beds. Then I have the roses that grow along the deck, roses that are along the front of the house, and even the clematis that grows among a number of them.
And speaking of clematis, two of my favorites actually grow on a support I bought at Northland. I had seen Rouguchi on a garden tour and found out the name. It is a bell-shaped clematis, and I thought this innocent-looking Sweet Summer Love would be very compatible on the other side of the support. Well, it took nailing the support to the side of the house to support the resulting Sweet Summer Love, but the two clematis look very nice together, and I have learned that you need to really cut back Sweet Summer Love in the spring to keep it somewhat in check!
Whatever method you use, if you like to know the names of your roses, which I do, this is a foolproof way to identify your roses. If you are worried about your computer losing the map, print it out and that will keep it at your fingertips.
And if you are one of the fewer and fewer people who don’t use computers, you can always make your own handwritten spreadsheet which will do the same thing for you. The only disadvantage to that is when you replace roses you end up with a messy page, where I just hit ‘delete’ and put the new rose in its place with all the information on year planted, name of the rose and type.
Lynn’s article was part of the Spokane Rose Society’s August News letter. (Click here to read the entire news letter.)
You can even shop Amazon for Clematis, including Sweet Summer Love.